Thursday, 12 May 2011

Everything in the Garden's lovely...

Some of you know that we are trying to stick with a fairly frugal way of life at the moment. This doesn't mean nothing fun, or nothing nice though - we were determined of that at the start, but it does mean that if we want the fun and the nice things, then there has to be savings made elsewhere, or alternative thinking applied, to get them. Example: we want to head down to Cornwall again for a few days camping - last year we drove part way on the Thursday evening, booking a Travelodge for that night, then continuing the journey the next day. This time we worked out that we could get Ben a train ticket to Honiton for £5.50 cash, and £5 in Clubcard vouchers via the Megabus site. So, I will drive as far as Honiton, collect him, and we'll then continue to our campsite thus reducing a £29 travelodge room to a £10 Campsite, AND gaining us half a day in the process. Hurrah! While we're there we are going to the Eden Project again, and possibly Falmouth's Naval Museum - both of these are being done with ClubCard vouchers too! The campsite will be £10 per night, and we'll need to find the money for the extra diesel, but other than that the trip can be managed on very little, and will be a lovely fun few days too!

One of the ways of hopefully cutting our food expenditure a bit has been to look at growing some of our own food. We've dabbled with this before but since we've been here it's been difficult with barely any garden space to play with. This year we've decided to turn as much space as possible over to the veggies - so the balcony wall is covered in tubs and pots, and some of the area outside the flat has been planted up too. We've even.....shhhhhh!....."borrowed" a bit of public ground across the way - that nice lush greenery growing there? Potatoes! Above is Spinach - growing happily away in an old mushroom punnet. There are also salad leaves growing in another of those same containers - and we have already had our first harvest from those! Below is the strawberry planter originally given to us with herbs planted in it by my parents, but now returned to a more traditional use and looking lovely as it sits enjoying the warmth reflected back from the brick balcony wall. Also growing about the place are a number of tomato plants. We didn't actually intend growing tomatoes, but they seem to have come up anyway.....I think it's fair to say that tomato seeds might take a little longer to compost than we were expecting....!

Definitely a cause for celebration is the fact that our Clematis is flowering for the first time! We've been nurturing this little beauty for a couple of years - previous ones have never survived and we were concerned about this one after it was forced to spend most of its early days in semi-darkness while the scaffold was up, but it seems to have overcome adversity!


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